It’s only been 21 years since the Pittsburgh Pirates last played in a playoff game, but man did they make it look easy on Tuesday night by dismantling the Cincinnati Reds and setting up another NL Central postseason showdown with the St. Louis Cardinals. But after the dominating performance at the plate and on the diamond, Pittsburgh is thinking about a whole lot more than knocking off the team that finished three games ahead of it during the regular season.
The Bucs won’t be able to start Francisco Liriano in Game 1 of the NLDS, but A.J. Burnett will be ready to go and you can bet he’ll handle things well in the familiar environment of Busch Stadium. And that’s not to mention guys like Gerritt Cole, who have made names for themselves while returning the Pirates to MLB relevance.
Now the fun begins: everyone wants to see Pittsburgh win and the definitely want to see the Bucs play a team outside the NL Central in the playoffs. The Pirates will obviously have a tough task in facing either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Atlanta Braves, if they get past St. Louis. But even with the anticipation of either of those possible matchups, watching Pittsburgh in a playoff baseball series in the 21st century will be something special for all fans of the game.